Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Factors influencing women’s decisions about having the pertussis-containing vaccine during pregnancy

Linda Hill 1 , Beverley Burrell 1 , Tony Walls 2
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 University of Otago Christchurch, Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies, Christchurch, New Zealand

2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence to: Tony Walls, University of Otago, Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch, New Zealand. Email: tony.walls@otago.ac.nz

Journal of Primary Health Care - https://doi.org/10.1071/HC17040
Published online: 19 January 2018

Journal Compilation © Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 2018.
This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: New Zealand experienced a major epidemic of pertussis from September 2011 to January 2014. In response to this epidemic, a pertussis-containing tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine was funded for pregnant women of 28–38 weeks’ gestation.

AIM: To investigate the factors influencing women’s decisions regarding having the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy.

METHODS: A retrospective, self-reported postal survey of early postpartum women in Canterbury that assessed participant knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and influencing factors about the Tdap vaccine was conducted from June to October 2013.

RESULTS: Of the 1883 surveys distributed, 596 women completed the survey. The main factors influencing women’s decisions to accept the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy were: the desire to protect their baby, a health professional’s recommendation, the threat of pertussis in the community and the fact that the vaccine was administered at no cost. Conversely, for women who did not receive the Tdap vaccine, the main factors that influenced their decisions were: they did not know the vaccine was available, fear of side-effects and doubt regarding vaccine effectiveness.

CONCLUSION: A clear health professional recommendation for maternal Tdap immunisation was a significant factor influencing pregnant women and would most likely improve the uptake of the vaccine.

KEYWORDS: infectious diseases, maternal immunisation, pertussis, pregnancy, vaccination


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